Voice Recognition Tools and Lawyers

I recently talked to a lawyer at a large Toronto law firm who was happily using voice recognition software to draft initial versions of long documents and to give voice commands to his computer.

Voice recognition technology has been around for a long time – my perception was that it wasn’t ready for prime time. Curious to see the vendor’s view of the software, I paid a quick visit to the website for Dragon NaturallySpeaking.

Has this technology really advanced to the point that it’s ready for wider adoption?


  1. I worked in Adaptive Technology for a few years, and voice recognition was a big part of our focus.

    DNS is generally accepted as the best of the best, however, it still isn’t perfect. It relies on really clear, articulate dictation, and is a mess with heavy accents. You can forget about it if you have even a moderately noisy workspace, since the background noise will distort dictation.

    It does analyse writing styles, and “learns” to work with users over time to become a really usable tool, provided that you have the patience. Pretty much some people are a better match for the software than others.

    At the end of the day, its proponents feel that it’s aces, while a lot of users end up frustrated and give up.

    So, in answer to your question: “maybe.”